Sylvana Koch-Mehrin had her doctorate rescinded by the University of Heidelberg for containing over 30% plagiarism in May 2011, and now in June she has been named EU commissioner for research, Spiegel Online reports.
This means that she is in the committee that determines research policy for the EU. She had been an alternate for the committee, her fellow FDP politician, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis (his dissertation is currently at 71% plagiarism, but he is contesting the plans of the University in Bonn to rescind his doctorate as well) had the main seat. They have now changed places.
What does this say about research in Germany? What message does this give to the general populace about the importance of research? Plagiarists determining research policy? If today was April 1 I would have considered this an April Fool's joke, but it is unfortunately true.
Poor Germany, all of your good researchers do not deserve this.
Update: A petition has been started requesting that she step down immediately. It is online in English, German, and French. If you feel so inclined, please sign. There are already almost 2000 signatures - on day 1 of the petition.